I was recently asked about my daily reading routine. The young woman who asked was curious as to how I was able to read books and apply them to my life on such a consistent basis. I didn’t think much of it and casually explained my reading habits to her. She thanked me and mentioned that she was going to try it in the near future. Later that evening as I sat back and thought about the conversation, it dawned on me that I had a method of reading and applying what I read that most could probably benefit from, which led me to this blog post.
So, how do you do it? It’s simple.
- In the evening before you go to bed, take a few minutes to examine what’s going on in your life. Write it down on a piece of paper or a notecard.
- The following morning, take a look at all of the books you have access to, including ebooks and audiobooks, and find a book or two that parallel or cover what you wrote down the night before (what’s going on in your life).
- Find one or two chapters in each book that you think can provide you with a few answers, ways forward, or even just provide some encouragement. For example, if you are a manager and you’re having a sit down meeting to discuss and hash out a conflict your team is having, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick out a book on communication and read a chapter on communicating during conflict or disagreement.
- When you find a thought, quote, concept, or idea that may help you during the day right it down on an index card or piece of scratch paper and slip it in your pocket.
It’s a simple but effective method that I’ve used for a while now. It helps me read with a purpose, use the experiences of others to help me navigate life, and broaden my thinking on a consistent basis.
*This may not always provide you with answers you’re looking for but it will at least give you food for thought going into the day.
**The more you read the easier this method is. You’ll find yourself revisiting books from the past you’ve read multiple times, but you’ll dedicate extreme focus on different topics and chapters each time.
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